Our talented firefighters and EMT personnel now have a new weapon in their arsenals.
On their vehicles, along with the right stuff to fight fires and save lives of humans in peril, they’re also equipped with small, medium and large oxygen masks for pets.
This invaluable service to pet owners and the animals they love is a courtesy of our local “Invisible Fence of Southwest Florida.”
They’ve donated pet masks to at least five fire departments around here in the past year, the most recent being to Marco Island, in ceremonies last month.
Fire Chief Mike Murphy says these masks are excellent tools because of the importance of pets to their people. And in emergencies, animals need help.
“Animals, pets, seek shelter. They don’t always run out the door. They seek shelter under beds or in bathtubs and so many times they don’t get out of the houses. Unfortunately, when we get to them, they may not be breathing. This pet mask tool may help in resuscitating those pets.
“We respect them and try to give them the dignity they deserve and we try our best to bring them around.”
Around the country an estimated 40,000 to 150,000 pets die in fires, most from smoke inhalation.
Jennifer Way, a spokesperson for Invisible Fence, says her dog Zorra is the “spokesdoggie.”
“She’s trained to let us hold the mask over her nose for a long period of time, so we can get photographs to demonstrate,” Jennifer says.
“They are pet masks, in general. I’ve heard of them being used on a lizard. The kits come with a small, medium and large mask. They are standard masks that are designed to fit over the snout of an animal, as opposed to the rounder ones designed for humans.
“People don’t realize that pets don’t necessarily die from the fire but from smoke inhalation. They tend to hyperventilate when they get stressed out, so they start breathing heavily and instantly start filling their lungs with smoke.
“That’s something we can bring them back from. But because a regular mask wouldn’t deliver oxygen that efficiently, it wouldn’t be able to bring a pet back to consciousness.”
One dramatic example of how these masks save pets: “Last year a home burned down with eight dogs inside. All had passed out with smoke inhalation. Seven were able to be revived using the masks Invisible Fence previously had donated.”
So thanks to Invisible Fence for their public-spirited generosity.
Note that many pet masks are for sale online. Just use Google or whatever search engine you prefer and put in “pet oxygen masks.”
A Great choice: Island Players’ Richard Joyce
It seems that Marco’s two community theater troupes, The Marco Players and The Island Players, get more publicity in the Eagle than Lely sports teams – and that’s saying a lot.
It’s hard to keep up with the excellent coverage our beloved Lely kids get from the Eagle’s Roger LaLonde, but we do want to at least remind you what you already know, we suppose, about the current production of The Island Players.
It’s called “I’m Herbert and Other Strangers,” running now through Feb. 18 at the Rose History Auditorium.
This is an unusual production, under the inspiration and direction of long-time thespian Richard Joyce and by all accounts it is excellent. The cast includes Richard, plus Mai Puccio, Rachel Gallentine, Kevin Moriarty, Scott Lilly, Kathy O’Brien, Pattie Ziesig, Joe Kelly, Judy Day, Gary Grant, Peter Galluzzo and Kathy O’Brien.
Centennial Bank on Marco is the presenting sponsor for this production and you can buy tickets directly at that bank. Or phone 394-0080 or see the web site: www.TheaterOnMarco.com.
As ‘Herbert’ nears end, here comes ‘Mr. Green’
Even before “Herbert and Other Strangers “completes its run on the 18th, the other community theater here, The Marco Players, begins its run with a comedy-melodrama, “Visiting Mr. Green.”
This show, that runs the gamut from guffaws to a gripping tale, opens Feb. 15 at the theater in Town Center.
It plays Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7 p.m. with 3 p.m. Sunday matinees. Tickets are available at www.themarcoplayers.com or by phone at (239) 642-7270.
Chris Curle is a former news anchor for CNN and for ABC-TV stations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Houston. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Don is a former ABC News correspondent and bureau chief and a former news anchor for CNN and ABC-TV, in Atlanta. His Farmer File column appears Fridays in the Naples Daily News. E-mail: email@example.com.